Talks from the Class Struggle Dayschool, Edinburgh, 20-11-2010
These recordings are taken from the Class Struggle Dayschool which took place in Edinburgh on 20th November 2010. The day was organised by the local group of the Anarchist Federation (http://afed.org.uk/), an anarchist communist organisation active in fighting for a better world through solidarity & mutual aid.
The day was helped by Edinburgh University Anarchist Society (http://euas.noflag.org.uk/) who organised the venue, AK Press (http://akuk.com/) provided a bookstall. Members of Solidarity Federation (http://www.solfed.org.uk/), Liberty & Solidarity (http://www.libertyandsolidarity.org/) and Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty (http://edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/) prepared talks.
Workers Assemblies & Puerto Real
A member of SolFed speaks on workers organising in struggles through the form of mass meetings, or assemblies of all workers in a location or industry. Specifically refers to the struggle in the Spanish coastal city of Puerto Real in the early 1990s. By rejecting the idea of being represented, their demands being negotiated elsewhere, workers can resist being sold out and at the same time find increased strength and confidence in themselves as a class.
This session, presented by a member of Liberty & Solidarity, argues for libertarian involvement in community politics as a neglected arena of the class struggle. The ideas of Saul Alinsky, the limits of engagement with religious and professional bodies and, most controversially, attitudes to the police are among the topics touched upon. A robust Q & A session follows in Part 2 of the recording.
The Dutch & German Communist Left
A historical look at the so-called "Council Communists" of Germany & the Netherlands, presented by a member of the Anarchist Federation. He outlined their history and ideas, showing that threads of Internationalism and a critical approach to struggle through trades unions are some of their ideas which have influenced currently-active libertarian groups.
Poll Resistance in Edinburgh
Finally, a shortened talk on community resistance to the hated Tory "community charge" in the late 1980s, presented by a ECAP member who has active in that struggle. Despite the famous Trafalgar Square riot being frequently credited with defeating the deeply regressive tax, it had already been made unworkable by a mass campaign of non-payment organised in from the grassroots, pre-internet and outside of and against Labour and other parties that claimed to oppose the tax while running councils which attempted to collect it. Mass pickets and blockades of sheriff officers, street-by-street solidarity prevented the seizure of non-payers' goods. Again, the question is asked whether it's possible that the wave of cuts we are about to see will have the same broad impact and spark a similar defensive response from the working class.